July 25, 2005 12:00 PM


Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie are back in business, if nothing else. FOX has renewed their contracts for a fourth season of The Simple Life, despite the duo’s ongoing personal drama. They’ve feuded for months; in April Hilton even suggested that new best friend Kimberly Stewart would make a fine replacement for Richie. Says a rep for Stewart: “Kim wishes Paris and Nicole nothing but the best. If the opportunity arose, Kim would enjoy the chance to be a part of the show.” Could a personal reconciliation be far behind? Don’t bet on it, Sources say the pair have barely spoken to each other recently. “No [plot] decisions have been made regarding The Simple Life 4,” Hilton’s rep told PEOPLE, but insiders hint that possible concepts could include the planning of their upcoming weddings or their subsequent lives as wives.



If only high school went this well. The WB’s Beauty and the Geek contestants Erika Rumsey and Mensa member Brad Hooker succeeded in romance, even if they didn’t win the show’s $250,000 top prize. “We are dating now,” says Rumsey, 22, an aspiring actress in L.A. And who made the first move? She did, of course. “It was a pleasant surprise,” says Hooker, 24, a bank teller. “I’m never the aggressor.” The couple can now take advantage of getting to know each other without the cameras. Says Rumsey: “I’m looking forward to making out with him.”

Career Change: TOM WESTMAN

It was just two months ago that New York City firefighter Tom Westman won Survivor: Palau and brought home the $1 million prize. “I don’t want this to be life-changing,” he said at the time. Perhaps, but on May 30 Westman, 41, filed the necessary paperwork for retirement after serving 20 years with the FDNY. “It’s a huge step; it’s emotional,” says Westman, who still might change his mind. With the clock ticking, Westman has hired an agent and committed himself to motivational-speaking engagements.

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